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Bioethicist Rebecca Kukla to Speak at A-State in Observance of Women’s History Month


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University is observing and celebrating National Women’s History Month through a series of programs and events, including a guest lecture by Dr. Rebecca Kukla, Georgetown University.

The lecture will take place in the Wilson Hall Auditorium on the A-State campus on Thursday, March 20, at 3:30 p.m.  There will be a reception immediately following. All are welcome to attend.

According to Dr. Michele Merritt, assistant professor of philosophy at A-State, Kukla is a distinguished bioethicist and philosopher whose work appeals to a wide variety of disciplines.

Kukla is the senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics as well as a professor of philosophy at Georgetown. Her research interests include reproductive ethics and the culture of pregnancy and motherhood, public health ethics, and the ethics of health communication.

Kukla is to speak on “Medicalization, ‘Normal Function’, and the Definition of Health.” According to Kukla, “The concept of health is surprisingly difficult to define in a rigorous and satisfying way…I propose what I call an ‘institutional’ definition of health, and argue that it retains the objectivity that is appealing in biological accounts, along with the social constructionists’ important insight that health and disease are partially constituted by social context and by contingent, historical processes of medicalization.”

The A-State Department of English and Philosophy, College of Nursing and Health Professions, College of Science and Mathematics, Arkansas Biosciences Institute, and the Women and Gender Studies Group are to sponsor the event.

For more information, one may contact Merritt at mmerritt@astate.edu.

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Rebecca Kukla

photo courtesy
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
at Georgetown University